happy new year. i'm mariko oi in singapore. the headlines: warnings the west could choke under mountains of waste after china bans the import and recycling of plastics. detente on the korean peninsula. south korea welcomes an offer from the north to take part in the pyeongchang winter games. i'm kasia madera in london. happy new year from london. also in the programme: whoo! high time for a change. californians celebrate as cannabis is legalised for recreational use. and no snow? no problem. confidence from china ahead of the 2022 winter olympics. live from our studios in singapore and london, this is bbc world news. it's newsday. good morning.
it's 9am in singapore, 1am in the morning in london and 9am in beijing, where china's government has introduced new restrictions on the import of foreign waste, much of it dirty or hazardous. the country has been importing large amounts of waste plastic and paper every year from europe, japan and the united states to be recycled. it's estimated that china accepted 51% of global plastic scrap imports in 2016. but the new ban, ordered by the beijing government, is about to stop most of that, and it could have a significant impact on recycling industry worldwide. robin brant reports from shanghai. china has been recycling for decades. he's made a living out of bashing, breaking up, and disassembling. he's been doing it for five years.
it's hard work, he tells me. tiring. but he's not a green warrior. he does it because there's money in it. china needs the raw materials, so much so that chinese workers have been sorting through your waste, shipped in from abroad. but the government is stopping that. china has long been the destination for much of the world's waste. it imported 7.3 million tonnes of plastic alone in 2016. but most of that is ending, and here's why. china has become a much richer but much dirtier country. it's blighted now by home—made pollution and contamination on a vast scale. the government claims some foreign waste is dangerous and the last thing this country needs is even more of that. translation: china's ban is putting the onus back on all the waste exporting countries. you need to shoulder the responsibility of disposing your
own waste and your own sources of pollution. the ban presents a problem for china, though, because it still needs the cardboard, the paper, the high end clean polystyrene like this, that's easy to ship here, easy to turn into something to sell, and sometimes selling it back to the country it came from. the tough new restrictions on foreign waste will hurt some businesses here, but the government's view here is, tough. delivering a cleaner china is paramount for the communist party politicians. a green revolution, you might call it. robin brant, bbc news, shanghai. let's take a look at some of the day's other news. organisers of the winter olympics in south korea have welcomed the possibility of a north korean delegation taking part. it comes after kim jong—un said that he's willing to send athletes to the event next month. his comments were an unexpected
olive branch to seoul, but he also made it clear that pyongyang had no intention of abandoning the nuclear programme. kim jong—un said that if his country is threatened, he will not hesitate to target the united states. translation: the entire united states is within range of our nuclear weapons, and the nuclear button is always on my desk. this is reality, not a threat. also making news today: at least eight people have been killed in indonesia after a speed boat carrying almost 50 passengers and crew capsized. more than a dozen people are still thought to be missing. there's been no official word on the cause of the accident off the island of borneo, but one news report says the vessel hit a piece of floating wood. president trump has accused pakistan of lying and deceiving the united states while receiving billions of dollars in aid in recent years. in a tweet, mr trump alleged that pakistan harboured terrorists sought by us forces based in afghanistan.
the us is considering whether to withhold more than $250 million in aid that it delayed sending in august. 2018 has already seen one record broken, the world's largest firework. this is it, exploding over ras al khaimah in the united arab emirates. the firework shell was hand made in new york. it took two months to build and weighed just over 1,000 kilograms. it was twice the weight of the pervious record holder, which was displayed injapan in 2014. in iran, more anti—government protests have broken out in at least five cities. police say one of their officers has been shot dead, while iranian state television said that ten people had been killed during the demonstrations.
this report from rana rahimpour. the fifth day of protests in iran. once again, thousands of people have taken to the streets. they're angry at unemployment, rising prices, and what many think is widespread corruption. it's the boldest challenge to the country's leadership in nearly a decade. the demonstrations began in the north—western city of mashhad, a key base for president rouhani's most outspoken critics. and has quickly turned into a widespread anti—establishment movement. this is the biggest show of dissent in iran since the post—election rallies of 2009. they were large in size but limited to urban areas of the country, like the capital, tehran. this time, the protests are more widespread, with towns and cities all over the country looking for social, political, and economic change.
authorities are continuing to suspend social media platforms out of the fear they'll be used to organise protests. the bbc has received reports of text messages, like this one, being sent to people urging them not to take part. a handful of pro—government marchers are attempting to counter the wider demonstrations, but with limited information coming out of the country, it's difficult to gauge how many people are involved. in the last 2a hours, president rouhani has spoken out twice against the protests. accusing iran's enemies of instigating the unrest. translation: our victory against the us and the zionist regime is unbearable for our enemies. our success in the region is intolerable for them. they are after revenge and are trying to provoke people. but his words have failed to calm the situation. in certain areas of the country, unemployment is as high as 60%, and reports of extreme corruption
have iranians frustrated and hungry for change. at least 12 people have died since the protests began. and with no sign of stopping, that number looks set to rise. rana rahimpour, bbc news. california has become the largest state in the us to legalise the recreational use of cannabis. it promises to be a cash crop, and state and local governments could collect a billion dollars a year in tax revenue. but opponents say the new law will lead to more driving under the influence of the drug and introduce young people to narcotics use. california joins the likes of colorado, another us state that legalised recreational marijuana in january 2014. earlier, i spoke with mason tvert, who played an integral part in the lead up to the drug's legalisation and now works for vs strategies, a government relations firm focused on marijuana policy.
i asked whether more people started using cannabis recreationally following the legalisation of the drug. well, what we're seeing is that, really, marijuana is nowjust being sold and licenced by regulated businesses instead of on the streets. we are not seeing any sort of major increases in use. in fact, teen use is actually at its lowest rate in the last decade, and while we have seen some money increases in use amongst the older adults, that is really not necessarily a problem seeing as we're not seeing any sort of increases in crime associated with marijuana use, or health problems associated with it. really, we are just replacing an underground market with a licenced, legitimate market where adults can purchase this product safely. what about driving under the influence of cannabis? because that is a particular concern and one of the arguments that was raised against
legalising it in california. well, that is something to be concerned about regardless of marijuana's legal status. this is a product that has been widely available and widely demanded for decades and decades, if not even centuries. and, so, the notion that we were preventing people from driving under the influence of marijuana by keeping its possession illegal is silly. we need to have good laws that discourage people from driving while they are intoxicated, those laws are already on the books in every state in this country, and they are on the books in colorado. what we're seeing is that, really, the biggest problems on our roads are things like people not wearing their seatbelt or driving while distracted, we need to have public education campaigns, which we do now, that inform people they should not be driving while impaired by marijuana or any substance. but arresting thousands of otherwise law—abiding adults is not a good way
to deter driving under the influence of our one. so you're saying that there have been no negative associations in colorado? what about cannabis tourism, for example? are you seeing more people come from other states to colorado, is that what california will face? i think that it is playing a role in some people's decisions. colorado being a big tourist attraction in skiing, and i think there are certainly some people who may look at colorado instead of utah and say you know what, it might be nice to go someplace where we could consume cannabis and not be treated like criminals. it is kind of like would people like to go to a resort where there is no alcohol available, they might otherwise prefer to go to one where it is, and it has really not been any sort of significant problem. in fact, we have seen tourism increase and we have seen more and more conventions coming to town. property values are rising, colorado's economy is rebounding faster than just about the rest of the country.
our unemployment rate is virtually lower than anywhere else in this country. things are going very well and the only difference is just that adults buy marijuana in a store, instead of from their friends or on the street from strangers. air accident investigators in australia say it could take months to establish why a seaplane carrying a prominent british businessman and four members of his family crashed into a river near sydney on new year's eve. richard cousins died along with his fiancee and her daughter. the pilot was also killed as well mr cousins' two grown—up sons. joining me from rose bay in sydney, where the plane's operator is based, is our correspondent phil mercer. phil, so what do we know, i'll be clearer to the secrets of these events that led up to this devastating tragedy? no, we are not. pa rt devastating tragedy? no, we are not. part of the problem for investigators is that the seaplane
has been submerged in about 30 metres of water. they say that in the next couple of days, if not sooner, they hope to retrieve, salvage the aircraft, and of course that will hold vital clues in the investigation. also listening to the accou nts investigation. also listening to the a ccou nts of investigation. also listening to the accounts of eyewitnesses as well about the last moments of the seaplane as it was taking off from jerusalem bay, now, that is about a 20 minute journey from jerusalem bay, now, that is about a 20 minutejourney from rose bay here on sydney harbour, and the water that you can see on your screen now is where the seaplane would ordinarily land. because the company involved has said that it has suspended all of its flights until further notice, this area is a lot quieter than it would normally be. and, phil, we have heard a lot more detail about the family. yes, we are hearing tributes as well to richard cousins, 58 years of age, successful businessmen in the uk, he died
alongside his fiancee, mr bowden, she was asked editor at ok magazine, and she died alongside her 11—year—old daughter heather and as you say richard cousins died alongside his sons aged in their 20s. and tributes have been paid to all members of mr cousins' family and they say they were generous hard—working people who will be greatly missed. and while the tributes flow in, accident investigators here in australia continue painstaking work to work out how and why a scenic, routine ﬂight out how and why a scenic, routine flight should end in disaster. phil musser, from rose bay in sydney, thank you very much —— phil merce. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: desperate for a drink — new zealanders find a creative way to get around the law.
the most ambitious financial and political change ever attempted has got under way with the introduction of the euro. tomorrow in holland, we are going to use money we picked up in belgium today, and then we will be in france and again it will be the same money. it's just got to be the way to go. george harrison, the former beatle, is recovering in hospital after being stabbed at his oxfordshire home. a 33—year—old man from liverpool is being interviewed by police on suspicion of attempted murder. i think it was good. you... just good? no, fantastic! that's better. this is newsday on the bbc.
i'm mariko oi in singapore. i'm kasia madera in london. our top stories: warnings the west could choke under mountains of waste, after china bans the import and recycling of plastics. south korea has welcomed an offer from the north to take part in the pyeongchang winter games, prompting hopes of thawing relations on the korean peninsula. china has long been one of the world's biggest markets for ivory. but, as of 2018, all trade in ivory and ivory products in the country is illegal. the move is being hailed as a major development in efforts to protect the world's elephant population. that story is popular on bbc.com. let's take a look at some front pages from around the world. we start with the south china
morning post, and new year's day protests in hong kong. thousands voiced their concerns about a proposed new rail terminal which could result in officials from mainland china being based in the territory. the china daily reports that xi jinping's new year's address to the nation has gone down very well. the video of the chinese president speaking of his plans for reform went viral in its first few hours on social media. it has already been viewed more than 11 million times on weibo. and the new york times has an offer which is probably out of the reach of most of us. $500 million for a home in los angeles is what one property developer is asking. it boasts 20 bedrooms, four swimming pools, and its own beauty salon. now, kasia, what stories are sparking discussions online?
mariko, a group of new zealanders and their creative way of getting around the law has caught people's attention online. they built an island out of sand, in coastal waters, so that they could have a drink on new year's eve. they did this because there is a ban on drinking alcohol in public in this part of the country. but they argued that their island was in international waters, and exempt from the official liquor ban. you can read more on that story at bbc.com/news. video games have been around for years. but, as their popularity has increased, so has debate around the problem of gaming addiction. many experts have long argued that video game addiction should be considered a mental health disorder, and now the world health organization has decided that in some circumstances it should. later this year, the health body will include gaming disorder in its list of diseases
for the first time. but when does playing video games turn from a hobby and a bit of fun to something much more serious? earlier i spoke with ray chua, a clinical psychologist who specialises in video gaming addiction, about the world health organization's decision. there is still no agreement yet as to whether video game addiction is a distinct disorder, orjust is itjust a symptom of underlying issues. but what is clear from the various studies done that there is a minority of gamers between 1% and 9%
that have serious problems with video gaming. it also depends on who you are more concerned about — the majority 90% who are not having difficulties, 01’ are you concerned about the 10% who are. so, as a psychologist who has been working with this population, addicts and their families, for the past few years, my focus is on those who are having difficulties. and we have kids who have dropped out of school, they've failed exams, they sleep during the day and gaming at night, and even being aggressive. i remember one of my patients even tried to strangle his younger sister because she was distracting him from his gaming. so, if our focus is on this population, i think the diagnosis is just going to be good for them, because this will mean more resources will be devoted to deal with this problem. but i understand you play video games yourself. couldn't this possibly stigmatise the 90% of gamers who are just having fun?
so we have to carefully look at the who diagnosis. and it is not pathologising gaming. it is focusing on those who have issues. and when you look at the criteria, these are people who have lost control over their gaming, who put gaming as a priority which takes precedence over daily activities such as work, eating or school. it also includes people who continue to game despite negative consequences such as expulsion or divorce. so, when such gaming affects our function in such a way, these are the people who are the subject of the who diagnosis, not those 90% were just playing games, and able to balance in their life. in just over a months time, the world's attention will turn
to south korea for the opening of the 2018 winter olympics. in china, questions are already being asked about the next games there, in 2022. the site is in the mountains to the north of beijing, partially in an arid region called chongli, so vast amounts of artificial snow will be required to host the event. our correspondent stephen mcdonell went along to check out the preparations. beijing is gearing up for the winter olympics, well ahead of schedule. it has already hosted events like this, the free ski and snowboard half—pipe world cup. it's a beautiful place. the pipe is good, snow is wonderful. i'm glad to be here. chinese competitors are knocked out, in the face of the sport's best. but they are excited the winter games will soon be here for the first time.
translation: the only difference is that it will be slightly colder here. the rest will all be the same. the wind howls down from the mongolian plateau, and it is often below —10 during the daytime, prompting fears this could scare away spectators. then there is the enormous volume of artificial snow needed for the event. this is an arid region, which can have little winter precipitation. joseph fitzgerald, who has worked on eight winter games, says man—made snow will ensure quality conditions. these are probably our best—designed courses that we'll have, so it'll be comparable to any past olympics, if not better. australia's brittney cox is the current moguls world champion. she too is happy with what she sees. well, this is a world—class—standard mogul course.
and people are wondering if china can pull this off in five years' time, and seeing the transformation they have made over the last ten months, it makes me confident that they will be able to do it. if there is one thing china seems to know how to do, it is to meet a construction deadline. leaving the international olympic committee less nervous than it may be. a new, high—speed train link will even cut a 3.5—hour car drive from the city to just over one hour. there are also broader goals for the beijing games. the chinese government hopes that, by holding the winter olympics, it will encourage many more people here to get involved in sports such as skiing and skating. the games will also be used to show off this country's capacity to host these mega—events. then there is china's big soft power push, and the role of the olympics in presenting this nation in its best possible light to the rest of the world. you have been watching newsday.
stay with us. in business news we will be looking at china's decision to stop importing foreign rubbish. and we are not quite done with the new year revelry. let's end the first newsday of 2018 with some unusual new year's day celebrations. this is loony dook, when more than 1,000 people dive into the freezing waters of the firth of forth estuary in scotland. they have paid to take part. some wore fancy dress, while others stuck to more traditional swimwear. the reward — a bowl of porridge. good morning. we have some very stormy weather to come in the week ahead. winds will often touching up
to gale—force, widely across the british isles, and some heavy rain to contend with, too. ahead of that, quite quiet this morning with light winds overnight and clear skies meaning some of us have a frosty start, but we will then quickly watch this band of rain winging its way into the west. so the fine weather not set to last. a dry start across eastern scotland with some early sunshine. cloudy in the west and rain pushing in. a wet rush hour for northern ireland. still i think, at 8:00am, largely dry across northern england, but rain affects many parts of wales, and also pushing into the south—west. the wind picks up across the midlands and the south—east. we will start to see the rain push its way through there quickly through the morning. chances are, if you start the day with rain, your prospects will look a lot better by the afternoon,
whereas if you start fine, a wet spell then comes for you by lunchtime, possibly even a wintry spell across the northern hills of england and scotland, as this whips its way across the british isles. strong winds behind it, too, but lighter winds through the afternoon and there should be spells of sunshine. mild in the south. but the quieter weather short—lived, and our next low is waiting to come spinning in from the atlantic. overnight tuesday into wednesday. this is a vicious little feature. it could even bring severe gales to a central swathe of the british isles, and be accompanied by heavy rain, as well. that wind could be damaging and even as the low starts to pull away on wednesday, be hind it, strong winds and showers sucked in behind the low. very squally affairs — some heavy rain, hail and thunder. a chilly feel in the wind despite temperatures reaching double figures in the south. and it continues along the same line. the rest of the week is perhaps a little quieter first thing on thursday, and then another low, which is going to basically cover
the british isles for the latter part of the week. so more rain to come, more strong winds, and then potentially at the very end of the week, potentially turning colder. thursday, wettest and windy to the south east and perhaps a dry break towards the north—east. and then friday, well, for all of us, strong winds, with heavy rain as well, and the worst of the wind across the central region of the british isles. no matter where you are, no escape from the bad weather in the week ahead. i'm kasia madera with bbc world news. our top story: china has banned the import of many types of foreign rubbish, including plastics, and will no longer recycle 2a categories of overseas waste. it is the world's biggest market for waste. but beijing says the materials it imports often contain dirty or hazardous matter that pollutes
the local environment. south korea welcomes the north korean leader's suggestion of sending a group to the winter olympics. kim jong—un also warned the us that the nuclear launch button was on his desk. and this story is trending on bbc.com: hundreds of women in the us entertainment industry have started a campaign to fight sexual harassment. the group, called time's up, has raised millions of dollars to provide legal support for victims of abuse, particularly in low—paid jobs. that's all from me for now. stay with bbc news. and the top story here in the uk: four young men have been killed in stabbing incidents in london amid new year celebrations.